Nature connects religion and science at UF

UF will host book reading of The Book of Nature at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 22 

By Lauren Wolters,

On Friday, Sept. 22 at 7:30 p.m., the University of Findlay will host a reading of Barbara Mahany’s The Book of Nature: The Astonishing Beauty of God’s First Sacred Text.  

The reading will take place in the TLB auditorium of Winebrenner Theological Seminary, which is free and open to the public. Her book discusses the connections between the natural world and God. It explains her inclinations that all of creation and nature itself are God’s first written text to humanity. 

Mahany published The Book of Nature in March of 2023. The book delves specifically into how nature can be used as a lens to the divine, a term called theophany, according to Amazon. Her novel deems all of creation to be physical manifestations of God. Mahany uses examples like the percussions of a storm or prairie grass moving with the wind to explain how God can be manifested to humans in visible ways. Amazon writes that Mahany’s novel isa field guide into the depths of your holiest places.” 

Mahany is an author of several other books and a freelance journalist in Chicago. Mahany also worked as a reporter and feature writer for the Chicago Tribune for 30 years. Some of her other books include “Motherprayer: Lessons in Loving” published in 2017 and “The Blessings of Motherprayer: Sacred Whispers of Mothering” published in 2018. These books focus on how motherhood can be seen as sacramental. 

The reading of the Book of Nature is funded by the 2023 Catherine and Debow Freed Contemporary Christian lecture series. This endowment began in 2010 with the support of Catherine and Debow Freed. The events and speakers taking part in the lecture series coincide with the Christian values of the Freeds.  

Debow Freed served as the President of the University of Findlay for seven years — serving from 2003 to 2010 — and passed away in 2020. Catherine Freed passed away in 2016. Their endowments to the University of Findlay continue to support events like the reading of Mahany’s book. The Freeds also have several other endowments to organizations like the Mazza Museum and City Mission. 

Mahany’s Book of Nature is available for purchase at UF’s Ruscilli Family Bookstore located in the College of Business and Student Life building. All are welcome to attend the reading of it on Sept. 22 at 7:30 p.m.